Bellflower resident establishes little free library

By: 
Theo Tate

Bellflower resident Laura Burnham poses next to her little free library, located near her home. THEO TATE PHOTO

For more than 10 years, little free libraries have been popular all over the world as there are more than 100,000 registered little free library book-sharing boxes in 108 countries.

That gave Laura Burnham an idea to build a little free library next to her Bellflower home.

“They just seem to be springing up all over the place,” Burnham said. “You’re talking about thousands of people who are doing little libraries all over the country, so that’s cool.”

The little free library, located on Howard Street, has two shelves of books for children and adults. It was built by Burnham’s husband, Jim, in early June.

“A neighbor contributed some scraps and Jim had a bunch of scraps,” Burnham said. “I don’t think he bought but a couple of pieces of board. So it wasn’t expensive to build. The door is an old window we took out of the house. We just reused things we had. I got a lot of the books from the book sale at the library, from the (Montgomery County) Senior Center and Karen Clark, who used to run the library at the old (Bellflower) school. She said I could have all of the books I want from there.”

Burnham said the little free library is a good way for the Bellflower residents to start reading more during the summer.

“I sure hope people will use it,” Burnham said. “There has been one grown-up who came by and took a book. I haven’t seen any kids take books yet. Kids do play on the streets and walk back and forth, so they’ll see it. We need some better signage. There’s a sign on the front, but we need signs on the side. So I’ll work on that. It’s still a work in progress.”

Burnham said she’s been getting a lot of compliments about her new project.

“I was really pleased with how many people were excited about the idea,” she said. “Maybe it will influence other people to make a little library, too. It would be nice to have them all over the place.”

Burnham and her husband moved to Montgomery County 10 years ago after living in California for many years. Burnham worked as a certified home owner association manager.

“My husband’s small business closed down, so we moved to Missouri,” Burnham said. “Jim is originally from St. Louis, so he does have some family here. I never thought I would ever live in Missouri. This is a new experience for me.”

Burnham, who is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, has plenty of experience in working at a library.

“When I was in high school, I worked at a school library,” Burnham said. “Then, I got a job in our public library and worked my way through college working in a library. At one time, I thought about taking up library science, but I ended up going into business.”

Currently, Burnham works as a volunteer at the Montgomery City Public Library. She’s also a chairman of the board at the Montgomery County Literacy Council.

Burnham said reading is one of her favorite hobbies.

“I can’t imagine not having at least two or three books around the house to read,” she said. “I read all of the time. Maybe it’s a boring hobby, but I like it.”

 

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Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
PO Box 190
Montgomery City, MO 63361

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